DENVER (KDVR) — Denver officially has a new police chief.
The Denver City Council on Monday approved the appointment of Ron Thomas, who’s been with the department for more than three decades. Thomas has served as interim chief since Sept. 6, just days after Chief Paul Pazen announced his retirement.
“Response times are up. I understand call hold times are up at the same time. I understand that our staffing is down, I understand that community trust is also at a low point, and I’m committed to fixing those things,” Thomas has said.
He was sworn in during a Tuesday morning ceremony at the City and County Building.
According to the police department, Thomas has already begun two strategies in his crime reduction and prevention strategy.
“The first is having more police officers responding to calls for service and reducing the number of calls requiring officer response by enhancing alternate response mechanisms and expanding online reporting options,” Denver Police Department said in a statement. “The second strategy in reducing crime is addressing the challenges in the city’s persistent violent crime hot spots holistically by utilizing concepts that have already proven to be effective on a smaller scale.”
Ron Thomas’ history with the Denver Police Department
Mayor Michael Hancock nominated Thomas to replace Pazen, whose official last day was Saturday.
Born and raised in Denver and its public schools, Thomas is a 33-year veteran of the Denver Police Department who has worked on patrol, investigations, special operations and administration. He served as the commander of police for District 2, District 5 and the department’s internal affairs division before he was appointed as the division chief of patrol.
Thomas also led the charge in creating the department’s Denver Police Wellness and Resiliency Program while he led internal affairs. It’s “a multidimensional program providing education, awareness, training, and support with a focus on enhancing overall officer resiliency and the effective management of stress,” according to the city.